Three statements of intent to circulate recall petitions were submitted on Thursday, July 26 to the Flambeau School Board for board members Patrick Anderson, Sam Stewart and Danielle Zimmer.
Reasons for the recall petitions against Zimmer, Anderson and Stewart include having inappropriate and disrespectful behavior toward community members, other board members and administration during meetings; sharing closed session information; negative representation of the Flambeau School District; not making the best decisions in the interest of the students and the tax payers; and suspicion of a walking quorum.
The petitioners initiating the recall petitions are Ruth Opachan, Sara Baker and Douglas Verdegan. They have 60 days from July 27 to gather 398 signatures on each of the recall petitions. Once the signatures have been turned in to Zimmer, the filing officer, Zimmer will have 31 days to certify the paperwork and determine if it is sufficient to hold a recall election.
After determining if the petitions and signatures are sufficient, the recall election will be held on the Tuesday of the sixth week after the sufficiency is certified on approximately Dec. 4.
As the filing officer for the recall petitions, Zimmer said, “My duties as clerk will be fulfilled to the best of my ability and this petition will have no bearing on the way I approach my position.”
Rusk County Clerk Loren Beebe said, “There would have to be a special election held with three separate positions on the ballot if all three go on to an election. The school district would be required to pay all associated costs.”
Beebe also said that according to Wisconsin Statute 9.10(5)(b) any local official who has a recall petition filed against them he or she will retain their duties until all procedures are followed and an election is held and that person is defeated at that special election.
Opachan, she said her top concerns in her recall petition are with the board members eliminating Common Core standards and the lack of understanding of the consequences if eliminated without a plan to replace the standards. She also has concerns for personal agendas and the lack of respect seen toward staff, administrators and the community.
Baker said in an e-mail she, “Would like to see the main focus of the Flambeau School District board of directors to be on the educational welfare of the Flambeau students and I believe several school board members are not making decisions that are in the best interest of the district.”
Opachan said she hopes everyone in the Flambeau community will realize the impact of these changes and people will step forward and make a change.
At this time the petitioners are working to gather additional signatures to be turned in no later than Sept. 24.